Urban Homesteading

First of all, have a look at this video to see the source of my inspiration:

I have decided to start working toward building an “Urban Homestead” right here in Calgary. I couldn’t find a lot about such development in Canada, so I may be a pioneer in this. Following are some pictures and notes of what I am starting with. Then I’ll post more pictures as things develop.

By the way, in case you’re wondering why we don’t just buy a REAL homestead in the country, Tom is a city boy and will NOT consider moving outside of Calgary. He likes the idea of retiring in this home he’s worked so hard at fixing up (and who can blame him?) and he likes being close to the grandbabies (another good argument). So, let’s see – my options are stick it out here with the love of my life or head out to find me a plot of land somewhere. No contest. This country girl is staying here with her Honey.

We are starting with a few raised beds and lots of urban-type lawn. It’s going to take a lot of work and a lot of dollars to do what I’d like to do, but it’ll be an adventure. Some of the things I would like to accomplish over the next few years are:

  • Learn more about solar power and get us off the grid (as I said, Calgary is sunny).
  • See about getting a laying hen or two in the city (although critters DO tie you to the homestead and we DO want to travel… hmmm…).
  • Build up the front yard.

Some things we have to contend with that the California family doesn’t:

  • Extreme cold in the winter.
  • Much shorter growing season, although our longer summer days pack more punch into the growing seasons we do have!
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5 Responses to Urban Homesteading

  1. Stacey says:

    Hey Dawn – I have been on your blog before and wondering how you’re doing with the whole ‘living of your yard’ thing? I’m a Calgarian starting to do the same thing and found this today http://www.rootsimple.com/2011/02/urban-homesteading.html which made me scream. Thoughts?

  2. Dawn-Ann says:

    Wow, that’s just wild. Thanks for showing me that, Stacey! I fell back on the urban homesteading last year (it was a tumultuous one for us), but I plan on getting back on track. If we ever get spring, that is! I want to make a bigger garden this year and maybe do some canning and freezing. How are you doing with yours?

  3. Dawn-Ann says:

    I think someone is mistaken. I went to the Dervaes site and they have a little sign on it that says, “Despite recent internet publishing, we are NOT suing bloggers. This is a false and unfounded claim.” I’m relieved. I just couldn’t see them doing anything like that! :)

  4. Stacey says:

    no make no mistake they have trademarked those names and a few more, have forced Facebook to remove all that use the term (and Facebook complied) and have sent “cease and desist” letters to everyone using it for blogs, articles…even the Orange County Library has received a letter because they used it in describing a seminar on gardening and canning. No they are not suing, but the family who’s blog I sent you (who were interviewed within the Radical Homemakers book by Shannon Hayes) wrote a book the Dervaeses have demanded stop of promotion for because it is entitled “The Urban Homestead” and written in 2008. The family has had to seek legal backing for themselves and the publishing company that put out their book. I went everywhere to get the truth and sadly the Dervaes have lost my good opinion of them. And it would appear with many others http://www.facebook.com/pages/Take-Back-Urban-Home-steadings/167527713295518 Hopefully they will stop sending out hate letters.

  5. Dawn-Ann says:

    Thanks Stacey. I did dig a little further and it does seem that what you say is true. It makes me very sad because I really liked the Dervaes family and their website and everything they were doing. I guess sometimes just because someone does one great thing we tend to think they’re great in all areas of their lives and set them up on pedestals. Then we’re disappointed when we find out they’re only human, eh? Anyway, no one has mailed me telling me to cease and desist but maybe that’s because I’m a small-blog wannabe! :)

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